How to Evaluate a Digital Marketing Agency in 2024

How to Evaluate a Digital Marketing Agency in 2024

Choosing the right digital marketing agency is essential to avoid costly mistakes and ensure the success of your business. You can make a copy of our free template to streamline...

Jun 12, 2024

Choosing the right digital marketing agency is essential to avoid costly mistakes and ensure the success of your business. You can make a copy of our free template to streamline your evaluation process. Still, we recommend reading through this article to understand the recommended percentage contributions for each factor and how to gain more insights upfront.

By following this guide, you’ll be better equipped to make an informed decision and select a reliable agency.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  1. How to Evaluate a Digital Marketing Agency (Based on Our Template)
  2. Frequently Asked Questions

How to Evaluate a Digital Marketing Agency (Based on Our Template)

Evaluating a digital marketing agency, or a few, is essential to avoid partnering with the wrong digital agency, which may lead to the downfall of your business and the waste of precious pennies. We’ve all read horror stories on Reddit about wasted money due to hiring a bad marketing agency.

One example that popped up was where the digital marketing agency partner didn’t want to hand over current data on how they’re trending toward goals. Another one that kept me up at night was when an SEO agency went from a stable 5K organic sessions per month to 500 and said it was just seasonal (yikes).

Using our handy template, be sure to consider the following while working through each factor in this evaluation: the recommended percentage contribution and ways to establish whether you’ll get a high ROI. Also, keep in mind that a total score of at least 80% indicates that the agency is reliable, knowledgeable, and aligned with your needs. This threshold helps guarantee a productive partnership and effective marketing outcomes.

How to evaluate a digital marketing agency

1. Track Record & Trustworthiness

Evaluating a digital marketing agency’s track record and trustworthiness is crucial. A proven track record indicates reliability and consistency in delivering results. Trustworthiness ensures that the potential agency will act in your best interests and maintain transparency throughout the successful partnership.

Recommended Percentage Contribution: 20%

Ways to Establish This

  • Check previous client reviews and client testimonials.
  • Request case studies and business success stories.
  • Verify any industry awards or recognitions.

2. The Quality of the Proposal

The quality of the proposal reflects the agency’s attention to detail and understanding of your needs and business goals. A comprehensive and well-structured proposal demonstrates their commitment and capability. It also provides insight into their strategic decisions and creativity.

Recommended Percentage Contribution: 15%

Ways to Establish This

  • Assess the clarity and detailed breakdown of the proposal.
  • Evaluate the alignment of proposed strategies with your digital marketing goals.
  • Look for innovative and tailored solutions.

3. Evaluating Tools, Technology, & Resources of the Agency

An agency’s cutting-edge tools, technology platforms, and resources are pivotal for efficient and effective advertising campaign execution. Advanced tools and tech platforms can enhance campaign performance tracking and optimization. Adequate resources ensure that the agency can handle your account effectively without compromising on quality.

Recommended Percentage Contribution: 10%

Ways to Establish This

  • Inquire about the tools and platforms they use.
  • Ensure they have access to the latest technology and trends.
  • Check for any proprietary tools that provide a competitive edge.

4. Understanding of Your Brand

A prospective agency’s understanding of your brand is essential for creating campaigns that resonate with your target audience. This ensures consistency in messaging and branding across all channels. A deep understanding of your brand leads to more authentic and effective digital marketing strategies.

Recommended Percentage Contribution: 15%

Ways to Establish This

  • Discuss your brand values and voice with the external agency.
  • Review their past work for similar brands or industry experience.
  • Ask for their interpretation of your brand and how they plan to communicate it.

5. Approach & Methodology

An agency’s holistic approach and methodology determine how it plans and executes campaigns. A strategic and data-driven approach increases the likelihood of achieving marketing goals. Methodologies should be flexible enough to adapt to changing market conditions and insights.

Recommended Percentage Contribution: 10%

Ways to Establish This

  • Request a detailed explanation of their marketing approach.
  • Look for evidence of data-driven, comprehensive strategies.
  • Ensure they have a digital marketing process for regular review and optimization.

6. Timeline & Pricing Value

The timeline and pricing value are critical for aligning expectations and budgets. Clear timelines ensure timely delivery of results, while fair pricing reflects value for money. The agency must offer a balance of quality digital marketing services within your marketing budget constraints.

Recommended Percentage Contribution: 10%

Ways to Establish This

  • Review the proposed timelines for deliverables.
  • Compare pricing with industry standards and service offerings.
  • Discuss any additional costs that might arise.

7. Industry Experience & Expertise

Experience and expertise in your industry can significantly impact the success of your digital marketing campaigns. Seasoned agencies with specialized knowledge are better equipped to understand your challenges and sales opportunities. Their expertise translates into more effective and tailored digital strategies.

Recommended Percentage Contribution: 15%

Ways to Establish This

  • Ask about their experience in your specific industry.
  • Review the qualifications and backgrounds of their internal marketing team members.
  • Look for any thought leadership or published work in your field.

8. Agency Culture (Is it a Match)?

The culture of an agency should align with your company’s values and working style. A cultural match fosters better, more transparent communication and collaboration and ensures a harmonious and productive business partnership.

Recommended Percentage Contribution: 5%

Ways to Establish This

  • Visit their office to get a sense of their work environment (if possible).
  • Meet with the internal team members who will be handling your account.
  • Discuss their values and how they align with your company’s culture.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Typically Take to See Results From a Digital Marketing Agency?

The timeline for seeing results can vary depending on the specific services and marketing strategies employed. Generally, search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing efforts can take 3 to 6 months to show significant results, while PPC advertising campaigns may yield quicker outcomes within a few weeks. Setting realistic expectations and discussing timelines with the agency is important. Continuous monitoring and adjustments are crucial to achieving optimal results.

What Should I Do If I’m Not Satisfied With the Agency’s Performance?

If you’re unsatisfied with the agency’s performance, the first step is to communicate your concerns directly with them. Provide specific feedback and allow them an opportunity to address and rectify the issues. If the problems persist, consider reviewing your contract for termination clauses and possibly looking for a new agency that better aligns with your needs. Always document your communications and maintain a professional approach during the resolution process.

How Can I Ensure the Agency Understands My Brand and Business Goals?

To ensure the agency understands your brand and business goals, provide comprehensive information about your company, including your mission, values, target audience, and unique selling points. Schedule regular meetings and maintain open lines of communication to discuss strategies and provide feedback. Reviewing their previous work with similar brands and assessing their initial proposals can also give insight into their understanding and alignment with your SMART goals. Continuous collaboration and transparency are key to fostering long-term partnerships.

What Are Some Red Flags to Look Out For When Choosing a Digital Marketing Agency?

Some red flags to watch out for include lack of transparency, vague or unrealistic promises, and poor communication. Be wary of agencies unwilling to share case studies, client testimonials, or clear metrics for success. High staff turnover or an unwillingness to provide detailed reporting can also indicate potential issues. Conducting thorough research and trusting your instincts when evaluating potential agencies is essential.

How Much Should I Expect to Spend on Digital Marketing Services?

The cost of digital marketing services can vary widely based on the scope of work, the agency’s expertise, and your specific goals. Establishing a clear budget and communicating this with potential agencies is important. Comparing quotes and understanding what each service entails can help gauge whether the pricing is fair and aligned with the expected outcomes. Remember, investing in a quality agency can yield significant returns, so consider value over cost alone.

How Often Should I Expect Updates and Reports From the Agency?

Regular updates and reports are vital to track the progress of your campaigns and make data-driven decisions. A good agency should provide detailed monthly reports and be available for more frequent updates if necessary. These reports should include key performance indicators (KPIs), insights, and recommendations for improvement. Establishing a communication schedule at the outset helps ensure transparency and keeps both parties aligned on goals and progress.

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